Verizon-Hearst Venture Creates Mobile Content for Millennials

Verizon Communications and Hearst have formed Verizon Hearst Media Partners, a 50-50 joint venture to create content for millennials to watch on mobile devices. Two channels are coming soon: RatedRed.com, for “millennials from the heartland,” featuring programs on music, food, outdoors, politics, military and faith, and Seriously.TV, a comedic take on current events. The channels will also be available on Verizon’s go90 streaming service, launched in the fall, as well as computers and TV. Other channels are in the works. Continue reading Verizon-Hearst Venture Creates Mobile Content for Millennials

Yahoo Targets Growing eSports Audience with New Video Site

While the future of Yahoo’s media operations remains in flux, the company continues to invest in key vertical segments, the latest of which is an eSports gaming news and video site. Yahoo Esports initially plans to cover “League of Legends” (Riot Games), “Heroes of the Storm” (Blizzard Entertainment), “Street Fighter V” (Capcom), and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Dota 2” (Valve). With the growing success of eSports, media companies such as ESPN and Turner Broadcasting are also entering the market. Continue reading Yahoo Targets Growing eSports Audience with New Video Site

Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

AMC Networks chief executive Josh Sapan and ESPN president John Skipper have both spoken recently about discussions with Amazon to include their channels in possible skinny bundles for the Internet. Amazon has gone on record as considering the idea for some time, but hasn’t responded to Sapan and Skipper’s remarks. Amazon isn’t the only online entity that might be hawking TV service soon. Turner Broadcasting chief executive John Martin reveals that he’s talking with six or so new companies looking to do just that. Continue reading Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

Sling TV Adds First Broadcast Station, ABC, for Cord Cutters

Dish Network’s streaming service Sling TV just added support for streaming broadcast network ABC in select U.S. markets. Sling TV subscribers in metro regions, including Chicago, Fresno-Visalia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco can add the $5/month “Broadcast Extra” bundle by calling the company, which has not officially announced the service. According to Dish, these markets represent more than half of the top 10 U.S. market areas, serving almost 25 percent of the population. Continue reading Sling TV Adds First Broadcast Station, ABC, for Cord Cutters

Super Bowl 50: Live Streaming Way Up, But Social Media Down

CBS now has the numbers to back up its assertion that live streaming of Super Bowl 50 broke records: 3.96 million unique viewers via computers, tablets, OTT devices and mobile phones, consuming more than 402 million minutes of coverage, for an average of 101 minutes each; an average per minute audience of 1.4 million consumed more than 315 million minutes. Last year, says NBC, Adobe Analytics counted more than 1.3 million people streaming the game, with an average 800,000 viewers per minute and 213 million total minutes. Continue reading Super Bowl 50: Live Streaming Way Up, But Social Media Down

Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

Spotify will debut video content on its Android app this week, and the iOS app by end of next week, in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Sweden. Originally, the music streaming service planned to offer video in May, but has focused on testing videos on its apps with less than 10 percent of its users in the four launch markets. The content is mostly comprised of short clips from ESPN, Comedy Central, the BBC, Vice Media and Maker Studios, among others. Some companies, like Tastemade, are creating original, music-themed series. Continue reading Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

Investors Are Drawn to eSports as Popularity Doubles in U.S.

The eSports category, competitive gaming, is poised to skyrocket in popularity in the U.S., says a Frank N. Magid Associates report. Long popular in Asia, eSports has grown 100 percent in the last two years in the U.S. Of the 70 percent of Americans, aged 8 to 64 years old who play some kind of game, nine percent watched or attended an eSports event in 2013, a figure now grown to 18 percent. Games that fill arenas with fans include “League of Legends,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Hearthstone.” Continue reading Investors Are Drawn to eSports as Popularity Doubles in U.S.

ESPN.com Debuts eSports Vertical Dedicated to Video Gaming

ESPN launched a new vertical on its website to cover all things related to competitive gaming, including news articles, event coverage, profiles of prominent eSports figures, and analysis. The network started broadcasting professional video game tournaments in 2014 and released a special edition of ESPN The Magazine focusing on eSports in 2015. The success of those projects helped spur the launch of the new vertical, which currently covers popular games such as “League of Legends.” Continue reading ESPN.com Debuts eSports Vertical Dedicated to Video Gaming

Sling TV: Redesigned Interface Highlights On-Demand Content

Sling TV, the Internet TV service from Dish Network, unveiled a new user interface at CES this week. The service is shifting emphasis from live television to on-demand content, with a new menu section that allows people to save a list of their favorite TV shows and movies and search by content, rather than by channel. Sling also tweaked the interface so that customers can discover the add-on packages of channels and purchase them directly from their TV or smartphone. Continue reading Sling TV: Redesigned Interface Highlights On-Demand Content

CES: Intel Reimagines Experiences with Sensified Computing

Under the theme “Experiences Reimagined,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich kicked off CES 2016 with a keynote presentation packed with product announcements, collaborations and live demonstrations. Today’s products are designed and defined by experiences, said Krzanich, experiences enabled by technology. With a flair of showmanship, the keynote opened with fireworks, presented not with explosives but a record-setting fleet of illuminated drones, and closed with music played with motion sensors, all of which served to illustrate what Krzanich called “the sensification of computing.” Continue reading CES: Intel Reimagines Experiences with Sensified Computing

CES 2016: VR, Game Platforms, eSports Coming to Las Vegas

The increasing interest in virtual reality and rise of the app stores are expected to help make gaming a hot topic at January’s CES. Coming off its crowd-pleasing debut at the show last year, and with its consumer launch only months away, expect Oculus to monopolize the floor. And with it comes an array of manufacturers hoping to add a new dimension to the immersive gameplay experience with new peripherals. Meanwhile, the widespread adoption of game systems as entertainment hubs has created a new pipeline for indie developers to reach consumers. And let’s not forget the rise of eSports. Turner Broadcasting certainly hasn’t, and will be bringing its largest-ever showcase to prove it. Continue reading CES 2016: VR, Game Platforms, eSports Coming to Las Vegas

DirecTV Planning to Debut Live 4K Broadcasting in Early 2016

DirecTV has joined the ranks of those looking to bring more 4K content to consumers. During New York’s TranSPORT conference, DirecTV’s Phil Goswitz confirmed that the company plans to launch a live 4K broadcast service sometime early next year. He said live sports transmissions are currently being tested and DirecTV has the ability to transmit up to 50 new UHD channels. Goswitz explained that DirecTV is “moving into working with partners” for more 4K content. CBS, ESPN and Fox are among the networks that have also been experimenting with live 4K production. Continue reading DirecTV Planning to Debut Live 4K Broadcasting in Early 2016

NY State Attorney General Goes After Fantasy Football Sites

New York State attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman is on a mission to shut down daily fantasy sports websites FanDuel and DraftKings, calling them illegal. Most recently, he sought an injunction to prevent both companies from operating in the state. FanDuel says it will comply by temporarily banning New York consumers from playing. DraftKings, however, says it’s still open for business with New York clientele. Schneiderman is also focusing on other daily fantasy sports sites, subpoenaing Yahoo. Continue reading NY State Attorney General Goes After Fantasy Football Sites

Activision to Open Film/TV Studio to Repurpose Game Library

Gaming company Activision Blizzard is creating an internal film/TV studio, headed by former Walt Disney Company executive Nick van Dyk, to produce content based on its 1,000-title library. The first production is animated TV series “Skylanders Academy,” based on the “Skylanders” game that’s earned $3+ billion since its 2011 launch. The first film is likely to be based on “Call of Duty.” This move comes on the heels of Activision’s stated intent to acquire King Digital Entertainment, creator of “Candy Crush,” for $5.9 billion. Continue reading Activision to Open Film/TV Studio to Repurpose Game Library

Internet Service Providers Compete for OTT Video Dominance

Competition in the OTT video market has heated up over this last year, and will likely build over the coming year, say some experts. Currently in online video, the top five online video destinations account for 85 percent of the market share. High-trafficked video destinations include YouTube and Facebook and TV brands such as ESPN, CNN and Fox Sports. But the mid-to-long tail sites have almost no video — which is worth significantly more than display advertising — making it an opportunity that’s been waiting to happen. Continue reading Internet Service Providers Compete for OTT Video Dominance